5 Ways To Support Your Immune System

Our immune systems do an amazing job in protecting us. However, no immune system is perfect and we all get sick sometimes. Fortunately, there are ways to support your immune system so that it keeps you as healthy as possible. The following are five ways to help support your immune system to promote overall well being. 

1. Eat Well 

The foods you eat directly impact your immune system. Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to get all the immune-supporting vitamins your body needs. Healthy fats, whole grains, and nutritious protein sources all play important roles in a healthy diet. 

One critical part of the immune system directly affected by diet is the microbiome. Eating plenty of prebiotic and probiotic foods keeps this system in balance so it performs well. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, and high-fiber foods are great for the microbiome.   

2. Consider Supplements 

A healthy diet is critical for proper immune function, but no one can eat perfectly all the time. Consider immune support supplements to help maintain your immune system. Certain nutrients have been shown to be particularly useful in supporting a healthy body. Supplements, in combination with a healthy diet, help maintain proper levels of these nutrients. 

Vitamin D is known to play a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Sunlight and dairy products are good sources of this vitamin, but many individuals choose to supplement this nutrient to ensure they are maintaining proper levels. 

3. Get Enough Sleep 

Research shows that sleep is crucial in maintaining a robust immune system. Sleep gives your body time to heal and prepare for future stressors. During sleep, your body produces proteins and cells necessary for a healthy immune system.

Most healthy adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. If getting enough sleep is difficult for you, take steps to improve your sleep quality. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Make sure your room is cool, dark, and quiet. Consider a fan or white noise machine to drown out disruptive noises. If your bed is uncomfortable, invest in a new mattress or a topper. Do something relaxing in the evenings to quiet your mind before sleep. 

4. Don’t Smoke 

One of the lesser-known negative effects of smoking is a weakened immune system. Smoking causes inflammation which disrupts the normal immune response. Cigarettes contain many harmful chemicals that suppress the immune system. Smoking also increases one’s chances of developing an autoimmune disorder, a category of disease where the immune system attacks itself. 

Fortunately, the immune system begins to recover as soon as an individual stops smoking. There are many pathways to smoking cessation, including support groups, medication, and meditation. Find what works for you, and don’t give up. It takes some individuals many tries to successfully quit, but the benefits are worth it.  

5. Speak with Your Doctor 

A good primary care physician can be an excellent ally in maintaining your immune system and overall health. In addition to prescribing medication to help you recover from illness, he or she will be able to tell you which vaccines would be most beneficial based on your age and medical history. Your doctor can also screen for diabetes and other conditions that may affect your ability to fight infection. 

Lives and bodies vary widely. Carefully consider your health and lifestyle when supporting your immune system. Do what works for you, and speak with your doctor if you are concerned about your health.  

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